E.g., 08/20/2014
E.g., 08/20/2014

Country Resource - United States

United States

US
  • Population.....................................................................318,892,103 (July 2014 est.)
  • Population growth rate ..............................................................0.77% (2014 est.)
  • Birth rate....................................................13.42 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Death rate...................................................8.15 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Net migration rate................................2.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Ethnic groups*..........white 79.96%, black 12.85%, Asian 4.43%, Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18%, two or more races 1.61% (July 2007 estimate)

* Note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean persons of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin including those of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican Republic, Spanish, and Central or South American origin living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.); about 15.1% of the total US population is Hispanic.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Immigration has contributed to many of the economic, social, and political processes that are foundational to the United States as a nation since the first newcomers arrived over 400 years ago. After brushes with immigration reform that began in 2001 and continued in 2006 and 2007, the United States seems to be on the threshold of overhauling the legal immigration system in the most substantive way since 1965. This article provides a comprehensive overview of major legislation and events affecting U.S. immigration throughout history, legal and illegal immigration flows, postrecession immigration trends, and more.

Recent Activity

Anyone who expected 2010 would bring comprehensive immigration reform did not account for the Obama administration's priorities of passing health-care reform and improving the economy—essentially the same issues that guided the president in 2009.

There's no getting around the fact that integrating immigrants costs money. That explains why recession-battered European countries, as well as a number of U.S. states, made cuts to programs affecting immigrants in 2009 and again in 2010.

Arizona's simmering frustration with the federal immigration system—which has failed to stop illegal immigration through Arizona's border with Mexico — officially boiled over when the state legislature passed and Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 in April 2010.

The writing was on the wall by late 2009, but 2010 confirmed the migration trends glimpsed months earlier in major immigrant-receiving countries: the global recession that began in late 2007 caused migration flows to drop, halting rapid immigrant population growth, and it pushed unemployment levels for some immigrants far higher than those of the native born.

The results of the 2010 elections seem likely to ensure a standoff on any immigration legislation and more immigration enforcement measures at the state level, as
MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron report. Also in this edition: Boeing no longer working on virtual fence, temporary protected status extended for Somalis, ban on unauthorized immigrant students at certain Georgia state universities, and more.

While the number of people detained reached a five-year high of over 383,000, apprehensions hit a 34-year low of 613,000 in 2009. MPI's Jeanne Batalova and Kristen McCabe examine the latest immigration enforcement data in this updated Spotlight.

Nearly 200 localities in the United States have seriously considered policies intended to restrict immigration or its impact. Kevin O'Neil of Princeton University analyzes the types of laws local governments pursue and the reasons they take action.

Indian immigrants in the United States may not want their U.S.-born children to live and work in India, but some members of the second generation are 'returning' to their parents' homeland for economic and personal reasons, as Sonali Jain of Duke University explains.

MPI's Muzaffar Chishti and Claire Bergeron examine why the Senate recently considered the DREAM Act and two other immigration bills, as well as whether local governments can opt out of Secure Communities, immigration cases before the Supreme Court, and more.

Few visas in the U.S. alphabet soup of visa types have become as well-known — or controversial — as the H-1B has in its 20-year history. MPI's Jeanne Batalova examines the program's background and the numbers and characteristics of those granted H-1B visas in 2009.

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Reports
June 2013

Low-income immigrant children are less likely than their U.S.-born citizen counterparts to see a doctor even when they are insured. Similarly, immigrant adults are less likely to use emergency rooms than low-income natives. This report examines health care coverage and usage among immigrants and the U.S. born.

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